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Interview with Ernie Lindsey, author of Sara’s Game

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Tell us about Sara’s Game. What’s it about?
Whenever I’m asked, I always point people to the blurb that I use on Amazon.  I wrote it before I ever typed a single word of the novel, and when I shared it with a few friends, it got such an overwhelmingly positive response that I thought, “How could I not write this?”

Two years ago, Sara’s husband left for the gym one morning…and never came back.  His car was found.  He wasn’t.  Unbelievably, the police report said, “No foul play suspected.”  There were a few unreliable sightings over the following months, but little else.

Now, on the last day before summer break, her three children have gone missing from their schools, all at the same time.

And the note under her windshield wiper asks one foreboding question: Are you ready to play the game?

What genre is it?
It fits somewhere between Mystery, Thriller, and Suspense, but really, it leans heavier on the Suspense side.  I’ve had readers tell me they figured out “whodunit” early on, but kept racing through the pages anyway.

What kind of readers will it appeal to?
From the responses and reviews I’ve gotten, Sara’s Game appeals to just about anyone that enjoys a good thrill-ride.  Primarily parents (mothers, especially), because it taps into a very real fear that we all have.  As a new parent myself, I can relate to my main character, and I can only hope that I never have to face a similar situation.  And I think, in part, I wrote this novel as a way to mentally deal with the possibility, however remote it may actually be.

Complete this sentence for us: If you like ___________, you’ll love Sara’s Game.
Pancakes?  Bacon?

I’d have to say Dean Koontz from his earlier years or perhaps Patterson or Baldacci.  I’m in no way comparing myself to their talent, those guys are masters at their craft, but they’re what I cut my teeth on when I first discovered books existed that I would enjoy, outside of being forced to read whatever a teacher assigned back in grade school.

And, again, not comparing myself to her talent, but I happened to notice on Amazon the other day that Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn was listed under the “Frequently Bought Together” section of the paperback version of Sara’s Game.  Take that for what you will.

Tell us a bit more about Sara – who is she, what type of person is she? Is she modelled after your wife in any way, since she seems to be named after her.
Hah!  I get this question more than I thought I would when I first put the book out there.  I’ll address the “wife” point first:  my wife’s name is Sarah, with an H, and originally the main character had the same spelling. About halfway through the book, it began to get weird, putting my main character through such harrowing situations when she had the same name as my wife.  So, I dropped the H, and it helped, just enough to get through the rest of the story.  And as for her being modelled after my wife?  Kinda/sorta/not really, but I have no doubt in my mind that my wife would be as strong as the main character if she were forced into such a scenario.

Sara, the fictional one, is a busy, working single mother that has already faced difficult circumstances with the disappearance of her husband.  A high-powered executive of a videogame company, she’s used to being in control, and when that’s taken from her, along with her children, she realizes just how quickly things can change in a matter of minutes.

The premise of the book is immediately arresting. How do ideas for your books come to you? Do you have a large backlog of great ideas waiting to be written?
I wish I had a large backlog of ideas waiting.  Most of the time, a small idea or a single phrase that pops in my head will lead to another 60,000 words.  The idea for Sara’s Game came from an offhanded statement I made to my wife one morning.  Last year, around the time that The Hunger Games and Game of Thrones were so popular, I said, “I’m going to write a novel with a strong female lead, I’m going to put the word ‘game’ in the title, and I’m going to call it something like ‘Sarah’s Game’.”  The rest of the book came from that one throwaway statement.

Tell us about some of your other books.
I’ve been writing fiction since 1994, and who knows how many words I’ve put down on paper, but I have a few short stories and two other novels that I’ll actually claim.

The Two Crosses, written in 2004, is about two different men that wake up one day with supernatural healing powers.  Sort of a “laying on hands” thing.  It’s borderline suspense/thriller, because a third main character is an ultra-religious, recluse zealot that thinks they’re the Devil in disguise, and he makes it his mission to rid the world of them.

Going Shogun (which is easily my favorite) is about two goofy waiters, living in a Dystopian society, that attempt to steal, and sell, the top secret recipes from the restaurant where they work.  In short, it’s humorous crime fiction mixed with Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure.

Tell us a bit about yourself.
Father of one.  Married to The Best Woman in the World.  Formally a technical writer who got tired of being a glorified paperweight, who took a chance on writing fiction, and got REALLY, REALLY lucky.

Have you got a website  where readers can keep up with your work? How can we follow you on Facebook and / or Twitter?
Absolutely!  I love staying in touch with my readers.  It still amazes me to this day whenever someone takes the time out of their day to send me a kind note.
http://www.ernielindsey.com
http://www.facebook.com/ernie.lindsey
@Fiction_Write

Where can we buy Sara’s Game?
Right now, it’s only available on Amazon in ebook and paperback, but around the middle of March, I hope to have it out on B&N, Kobo, etc.

What’s next?
The audiobook version of Sara’s Game should be out within the next couple of weeks, and I’m about two-thirds of the way through the rough draft of a new novel called The White Mountain.  It’s about a private investigator struggling to save her brother-in-law, a former Marine Corps sniper that’s caught in a game of “killer hunting killer.”

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